Biz Buzz: Bellevue eatery offers private option; new pop-up coffee shop; screen-printing shop in new location

Mark Herman, owner and manager of Flatted Fifth Blues & BBQ in Bellevue, Iowa, has created a private dining space on the third floor in response to safety concerns of customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. PHOTO CREDIT: Dave Kettering

Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from around the tri-state area. This week, we highlight developments in Dubuque and Bellevue, Iowa.

Guests hoping to dine out with less worry about COVID-19 exposure now have the option of eating alone inside a new private dining area at Flatted Fifth Blues & BBQ in Bellevue.

“This is space totally isolated from the rest of the restaurant with a private restroom and elevator access,” said Mark Herman, co-owner and general manager of the restaurant. “It is spacious.”

The private room is located on the third floor of Potter’s Mill and can serve up to 15 guests at a time. They will have their own private dining area and restroom, a designated server and a small lounge area to use while waiting for their table, Herman said.

Prior to the pandemic, the space was used for small banquets and is located next to Potter’s Mill’s art gallery and coffee shop, which currently are not operating.

The new private dining area allows guests the option of eating out while also providing peace of mind as many worry about exposure to the virus, Herman said.

“There are people who would like to dine here, but they do not feel comfortable yet, and we want to provide a space for them,” he said. “I think even when we get through COVID, and we get the retail space open, I think even then people can rent that out.”

The private dining area can be rented for an hour and a half at a time and costs $50 plus an additional 22% gratuity. The space, located at 300 Potter Drive, can be reserved from 5:30 to 7 p.m., and again from 7:30 to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 1 to 2:30 p.m., 4 to 6 p.m. and 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

Reservations can be made by calling 563-872-3838.

POP-UP COFFEE SHOP OPENS

For coffee lovers or those hoping to snag a warm cup of gourmet hot chocolate, Bob & Lou’s has opened a new pop-up coffee shop at 1895 University Ave. next to Magoo’s Pizza.

Sarah Knabel first launched Bob & Lou’s, coined after her grandparents Bob and Mary Lou Johanningmeier, in August, running the coffee shop out of a camper and selling coffee throughout Dubuque County and at private events.

“I was working for a company in Des Moines, and I just didn’t like the desk job, and I had worked for a coffee shop at Iowa State (University) for four years,” she said. “While in Des Moines, I wanted to open a coffee shop. I knew a brick and mortar wouldn’t work. I decided a mobile would be more affordable.”

Bob & Lou’s serves drinks including coffee, lemonade, mocha and hot chocolate, as well as merchandise such as mugs and cups.

When winter set in, Knabel decided to retire the camper for the season and give a more permanent location a try. Bob & Lou’s will be open at the space on University Avenue until May, she said.

“I am just interested and excited to see how a brick and mortar and set location goes because down the road, I would like to have my own set location,” Knabel said.

Store hours are 6 a.m. to noon Monday, Thursday and Friday and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

LONGTIME SCREEN-PRINTING OPERATION RELOCATES

After almost a decade of operating on Dubuque’s West End, JMJ Screen Printing has traded its former location for a smaller, more centralized spot at 1085 University Ave.

“We kind of downsized, and we are trying to run the space more efficiently,” said owner Greg Howell. “With the other location, we had a little more space, but we didn’t need it, so we had a lot of running around and stuff.”

JMJ Screen Printing first launched about 30 years ago. It is known for its custom screen printing and makes apparel for local sports teams, bands, tattoo artists, construction companies and more.

“You name it — (it’s) mostly servicing small businesses,” Howell said. “We do all of our creative design in-house.”

The former location was a bit of a trek for customers, so the goal with this new location is that it will be less of a commute and easier for the company to streamline its products, Howell said.

“Since we have been developing this business, moving into a new location helps us streamline,” he said. “I personally am excited about the aspect of streamlining and updating to help make our process more efficient.”

Business hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The store can be reached at 563-557-7770.

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